Hummus provides key nutrients, including protein. The ingredients in hummus may benefit your overall health and reduce the risk of certain health conditions.
Hummus is an incredibly popular Middle Eastern dip and spread.
It is typically made by blending chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (ground sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic in a food processor.
Not only is hummus delicious, but it is also versatile, packed with nutrients, and has been linked to many impressive health and nutritional benefits (
Here are 8 scientifically proven benefits of hummus.
Hummus contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
A 2-tablespoon (tbsp), or 30 gram (g), serving of hummus contains (
- Calories: 71
- Fat: 5 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Carbs: 5 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Manganese: 7% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Copper: 7% of the DV
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 2% of the DV
- Folate: 2% of the DV
- Iron: 2% of the DV
- Zinc: 2% of the DV
- Thiamine: 2% of the DV
Hummus contains a small amount of plant-based protein, with around 2 g in each 2-tbsp (30-g) serving.
In addition, hummus includes iron and folate, both of which are important for vegetarians and vegans, as they may not get enough from their diet (
Hummus provides a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including manganese, copper, folate, and iron.
Inflammation is the body’s way to protect itself from infection, illness, or injury.
However, sometimes inflammation can persist longer than necessary. This is called chronic inflammation, and it has been linked to many serious health problems (
Hummus is packed with healthy ingredients that may help reduce chronic inflammation.
Olive oil is one of them. It’s rich in powerful antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory benefits.
In particular, virgin olive oil contains the antioxidant oleocanthal, which is believed to have similar anti-inflammatory properties as common anti-inflammatory medicines (
Similarly, sesame seeds, which make up tahini, may help reduce markers of inflammation in the body like interleukin-6 (IL-6), which is elevated in inflammatory conditions like arthritis (
Moreover, many older studies have shown that consuming a diet rich in legumes like chickpeas reduces blood markers of inflammation (
Hummus contains chickpeas, olive oil, and sesame seeds (tahini), which are proven to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Hummus is a great source of dietary fiber, which can improve digestive health.
It provides nearly 2 g of dietary fiber per 2-tbsp (30-g) serving, which is about 6% of the DV for fiber (
Thanks to its fiber content, hummus may help keep you regular. This is because dietary fiber helps soften and add bulk to stools so that they are easier to pass (
What’s more, dietary fiber also helps feed the healthy bacteria that live in your gut.
One 2010 study found that adding 200 g of chickpeas (or raffinose fiber from chickpeas) to the diet for 3 weeks helped promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as bifidobacteria, while suppressing the growth of harmful bacteria (
Some of the fiber in hummus may also be converted by gut bacteria into the short-chain fatty acid butyrate. This fatty acid helps nourish the colon cells and has many impressive benefits (
Laboratory studies have shown that butyrate reduces inflammation in the intestines and may help protect against colon cancer (
Hummus is a great source of fiber, which support regularity. Additionally, chickpea fiber may promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria, which produce butyrate — a type of fatty acid that helps nourish cells in the gut.
Hummus has several properties that may help manage your blood sugar levels.
First, hummus is made mostly from chickpeas, which have a low glycemic index (GI) (
The glycemic index is a scale that measures the ability of foods to raise blood sugar.
Foods with a high GI value are quickly digested and then absorbed, causing a sharp spike and fall in blood sugar levels. Conversely, foods with a low GI value are slowly digested and then absorbed, causing a slower and more balanced rise and fall in blood sugar levels.
Hummus is also a great source of soluble fiber and healthy fats.
Chickpeas are rich in protein and resistant starch, which slow down the digestion of carbs (
Fats also help slow down the absorption of carbs from the gut, which, in turn, provides a slower and more steady release of sugar into the bloodstream (
For example, research has shown that white bread releases four times more sugar into the blood after a meal than hummus, despite providing the same amount of carbs (
Hummus has a low glycemic index, which means it slowly releases sugar into the bloodstream. This is also aided by the resistant starch, fat, and protein it contains.
Heart disease is the leading cause of the death around the globe, affecting around 17.9 million people each year (
Hummus contains several ingredients that may help reduce risk factors for heart disease.
In an older 5-week long study, 47 adults consumed either a diet with added chickpeas or a diet with added wheat. After the study, those who ate extra chickpeas had 4.6% lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol levels than people eating extra wheat (
Additionally, a 2011 review of 10 studies in over 268 people concluded that a diet rich in legumes like chickpeas reduced LDL cholesterol by an average of 8 milligrams per deciliter (
Aside from chickpeas, hummus is also a great source of heart-healthy fats from olive oil.
According to one analysis in over 92,000 people, replacing margarine, butter, mayonnaise, and dairy fat with an equal amount of olive oil was associated with an 8%–34% lower risk of total and cause-specific death (
Another analysis found that the risk of heart disease and overall death was 4% lower for every 5-g increase in daily olive oil intake (
While these results are promising, more long-term studies on the effects of hummus specifically are needed.
Hummus contains chickpeas and olive oil — two ingredients that may reduce risk factors, and thus overall risk, for heart disease.
Several studies have examined how hummus affects weight loss.
Interestingly, according to an older national survey, people who regularly consumed chickpeas or hummus were 53% less likely to have obesity (28).
They also had a lower body mass index (BMI) and their waist size was an average of 2.2 inches (5.5 centimeters) smaller than people who did not regularly consume chickpeas or hummus (28).
That said, it’s not entirely clear if these results were due to specific properties of chickpeas or hummus or simply that people who eat these foods live a generally healthy lifestyle.
Other studies have also linked a higher intake of legumes like chickpeas to a lower body weight and improved satiety (
Hummus is also rich in fiber, which could help promote weight loss.
In fact, fiber has been shown to boost levels of the fullness hormones cholecystokinin, peptide YY, and glucagon-like peptide-1. Moreover, dietary fiber has also been shown to reduce levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone (
By curbing appetite, fiber may help reduce your calorie intake, which can lead to weight loss.
Hummus is a great source of fiber, which may promote weight loss. Surveys have shown that people who consume chickpeas or hummus regularly are less likely to have obesity and may have a lower BMI and smaller waist circumference.
Food allergies and intolerances affect many people around the world (
People with food allergies and intolerances may have difficulty finding foods they can eat that won’t cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Hummus is naturally free of gluten, nuts, and dairy, which means it suits people who are affected by common conditions like celiac disease, nut allergies, and lactose intolerance.
Although hummus is naturally free of these ingredients, it’s still a good idea to read the full list of ingredients, as some brands may add preservatives or other ingredients.
Additionally, note that chickpeas are high in raffinose, a type of carbohydrate known as a FODMAP. People who are sensitive to FODMAPs, such as those with irritable bowel syndrome, should be careful not to overindulge in hummus (
Hummus is a versatile ingredient and a good source of fiber, along with vitamins and minerals like manganese, copper, folate, and iron.
Thanks to its impressive nutrient profile, it may help ease inflammation, promote heart health, and support blood sugar management.
It’s also naturally free of gluten, nuts, and dairy and can be enjoyed as a delicious dip, spread, or condiment in a variety of recipes.